• Wagner Marques - Marketing & Comunicação

Saipher ATC at the 3rd IAA Conference on Space Situation Awareness

Saipher ATC participated in the third International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Conference on Spatial Situational Awareness (SSA) held in Madrid, Spain. Saipher ATC's Director of Innovation and New Businesses, Air Brigadier R1 José Vagner Vital, and Space Engineer Guilherme Marcos Neves have attended the event, showing the company's recent actions related to the space sector. It was the first public presentation of SAIPHER's space side to the community, which has now a Brazilian aerospace technology company to provide SSA services.

Among the event activities, there was a very positive highlight for Brazil: Professor Antonio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida Prado, a researcher, and Professor at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), received the honor of becoming a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), which maintains a selected group of member professors (only 1200 members worldwide). Such selection involves an internal election that reflects and honors the Professor's brilliant career. He has been a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) for three years ago and a PQ1 researcher at CAPES, the highest classification level in Brazil.

Paper presentation

For the Conference, the paper “Preliminary STM Architecture Using Legacy Radar Sensors for Initial Space Domain Applications to Improve Space Security and Protection in Brazil” was developed and shown by José Vagner Vital (Saipher), Eduardo Vergueiro Loures da Costa (ITA), Wagner Frederico Cesar Mahler (Saipher), and Guilherme Marcos Neves (Saipher). The work also had important participations from the operators of the Barreira do Inferno Launch Center (CLBI), Hareton Ribeiro Gomes, José Marcos Leal Barbosa Filho, Francisval Guedes Soares, Alann Karllo Gomes Xavier Marinho and PhD Glauberto Leilson Alves de Albuquerque (Universidade da Universidade Federal of Rio Grande do Norte – UFRN).

According to the presentation, the number of activities in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) orbits grows every year. It makes the level of reliability of the systems used to increase the resilience of space systems and maintain everything that is operating, or that will come into operation of fundamental importance for agencies, companies, and civil or military organizations involved.

To address the issue, Spatial Situational Awareness (SSA), Spatial Domain Awareness (SDA), and Spatial Traffic Management (STM) topics are increasingly on the agenda of the space community. In 2012, Brazil published the Strategic Program for Space Systems (PESE), which has the Space Monitoring System (MOE) among its projects. The MOE follows the premises of the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), envisioning a Brazilian system for tracking, classifying, and characterizing orbital objects, identifying payloads, and risk analysis.

In May 2021, Brazil started tracking activities using the BEARN trajectory radar, which is operated by the Barreira do Inferno Launch Center (CLBI). To achieve the MOE objectives for the SSA/SDA systems provided for in the PESE, a suitable environment is needed that has an ecosystem of industry and military institutions working together, using the available automated services to perform space monitoring and create an integrated system. of data with the sensing centers, enabling STM applications.

The article contributes to this vision and aims to present a preliminary architecture using ATLAS and BEARN pathography radars, located at the Alcântara and Barreira do Inferno launch centers, widely operated to monitor the trajectory of vehicles launched from these locations, powered by the results of an automated calculation system for orbit propagation. Orbital elements are determined based on tracking data from legacy sensors and compared with data collected from the orbital elements database for validation, noting the variation of these parameters within the time of the displays. The screening carried out at the Alcântara Launch Center (CLA) was possible thanks to the efforts of the entire radar operational team, especially operators Pinheiro Júnior and Durceni Moreira, who carried out the screening present at work.

The IAA Conference

The event will be marked by a broad discussion of technical and political aspects related to Spatial Domain Awareness (SSA), which has evolved into a high-impact multidisciplinary research field in the last two decades.

According to the conference organizers, the magnitude and complexity of its constituent lines of investigation are growing at a rapid pace, driven by the growing number of objects of interest, including resident space objects: the RSOs (collective for active spacecraft and space debris), as well as near-Earth objects: NEOs (comets and asteroids in the vicinity of Earth).

SSA today involves many areas of activity. In addition to research in RSO/NEO detection, identification, forecasting, tracking, association, risk assessment, resource allocation, spacecraft control, information and communication, proximity operations, debris removal, space weather, trawling - controlled reentry, alternative (non-propulsive) deorbiting technologies, liability and insurance issues, and a host of other related topics.

Thirty speakers and 70 lecturers among representatives of space agencies, universities, and the sector's leading companies participated in the 3rd IAA Conference on Space Situation Awareness. Among these institutions, the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) was represented by Professor Dr. Willer Gomes dos Santos.